EBRD advice and funding supported a family-run business's efforts to increase production and expand in Turkmenistan.
Turkmen sweets company HASAR has grown steadily since it was set up in 1993 by brothers Serdar and Allsberdy Poladov. The business now employs more than 300 people, 60 per cent of whom are women, and produces a wide range of confectionery that it distributes all over Turkmenistan.
Two EBRD loans in 2000 and 2004 helped the Poladov brothers to increase production. HASAR now holds 70 per cent of the Turkmen market for biscuits and waffles and the company has introduced new products, including nuts and packaged dried fruit.
Opportunities in new markets
But the Poladovs are ambitious and want to take the HASAR brand into new markets. So they have sought advice from the EBRD's TurnAround Management (TAM) Programme.
TAM advisers are working with HASAR’s management to develop a business plan to improve financial planning as well as increase domestic and export sales volumes. Even basic tasks, such as establishing an organisation chart that will last in the long term, are being coordinated with TAM advisers.
When TAM started the project with HASAR in February 2009 the company was already making good use of its production lines. Now there are plans to expand into the production of chocolate bars and Snickers-type products.
From production to sales
So far the focus has been on production but HASAR's management is now learning to become a sales-driven organisation. The Poladov brothers have high hopes that their HASAR brand will soon be known all over Central Asia.